There were definitely repercussions from my trip around the cemetery with my pup. We managed to get back there two more times during the week we had the scooter, but the effects ~ good and bad ~ started as soon as we got home that first day.
He is a different dog. Just like that. Even my husband commented on the change. He is not completely back to his normal, carefree, waggy self, but he was immediately happier and calmer. He really just needed to see me happy and out and about to know that things are okay. Over the next few days, he spent hours in the back garden with me, lounging in the sun. He would come close to me, say hello, and then find a shady spot. Every time he got up, I expected him to have reached his limit, had the anxiety kick in, and be headed inside, but he didn’t! He would just move from sun spot to shade like the good old days. For those regular readers, you know this is a big deal. He hasn’t really come outside with me since I accidentally hit him in the eye with a tennis ball. He was already stressed by my illness but that incident put him on a different level of depression. Now, he isn’t lying on the couch, staring at the wall as much. He is more interested in what I am doing. He’s playing little games with me again, like trying to catch my hand when I do “here comes the mousey”. 🙂 He even followed me when I drove the scooter around our garden!
Just like I underestimated the effect my phone screen was having on my sleep and my constipation was having on my overall well being, I had underestimated how blue Bowie’s blueness made me. Since our outing, I have had a woeful week symptom-wise (stay tuned) and my mood hasn’t dipped at all. I haven’t felt happiness, relief and hope like this in as long as I can remember. I have to work as hard as possible to not only get better, but remain positive because we can all bounce back from this. Bowie has shown me that.
He’s a different dog. I’m not the only one who has deconditioned. He does not gallop anymore. He runs in short bursts, looking stiff and out of breath. It seems as if he has aged 5 years this year.
And then there is my body. I woke up the next day feeling like I had been on a rollercoaster. It was very obviously from the jostling of the scooter. My spine hurt from my tailbone up to my skull, my neck was killing me and my head hurt badly ~ a headache that felt like a direct result of neck strain and my brain hitting the inside of my cranium. The pavement around the cemetery was pretty smooth… I thought. It never occurred to me that my body would be so rattled. I wound up taking Tinazidine to help and you know how bad it has to be for me to take a drug.
Who knows the exact reason, but, after the walk with my dog and taking Tizanidine, my sleep disappeared. I mean, GONE. I went from 7-9 broken, unrefreshing hours to 2-3 broken hours. Here’s a look at a few of my Zeo sleep graphs:
Melatonin, valerian, magnesium, Tylenol did nothing. More Tizanidine did nothing. My usual dose of Unisom (1/4 pill) did nothing. I finally tried Trazodone! Nothing. Panic. I laid low, didn’t expend any energy, waited for the horrific crash… After the first night, I was in very bad shape ~ stiffness, muscle and bone pain, breathing difficulty, dizziness, higher heart rate, flu-ish ~ but, oddly, as the insomnia streak continued, my symptoms didn’t get worse. I was laughing at tv yesterday, thinking, Why don’t I feel worse?? I stopped all supplements and, last night, I took 1/2 a Unisom pill (double dose!) and didn’t wear the cpap. And slept 8 hours. Oh, thank god. I worry about not wearing the cpap and I certainly needed more than 8 hours, but I am very, very grateful this morning.
I just wanted to say I loved reading this. 🙂 It is so interesting how things can effect us and we have no idea that they are. I’d love to hear more about your phone and sleep. I really try do no computer/phone/TV 2 hours before sleeping, but sometimes I have trouble imposing that rule on myself!
Thanks, Jackie! I wrote a little bit about the phone and sleep on this post: https://elizabethmilo.com/2013/05/21/general-update/
Basically, when I closed my eyes, I was seeing bright lights weven when it was pitch black in my room. It was darker when I opened my eyes than when I closed them and it was messing my sleep up very badly. I finally figured out it was from reading blogs and the NYTimes on my phone before going to sleep. Now, I try not to look at screens for an hour (at least) before bed. Plus, if I do, I wear amber glasses to block blue light, plus I have an app on my phone called “Twilight” that reduces blue light as the sun goes down. Plus, I turn the brightness down on everything. It seems to be working!
The whole getting to sleep lark drives me crazy. My mind literally boards a crazy train and I’ve to keep clawing her back and back. I’ve refused drugs in my treatment, call me crazy. I’ll do a post on this down the line. So meditation, mindfulness and pacing are my three keys along with diet. My GP and consultant are happy with my choices so we are on the same page and my getting to sleep routine is a routine. Deviate and I pay the price. I do some gentle yoga, then lie on the living room floor and listen to some soft music for about ten minutes. Then tip toe to the bed where hours earlier ive washed my teeth and turned the bedclothes down. In bed I meditate and hope the brain will stay calm and after about an hour or so fall asleep. My frequent night urination distrubs me, the slightest sound wakes me and so my mediation has to start all over. There are of course nights where i want to scream my head off and there are nights i beg the dark skies to just let me sleep. ME likes to test us, she is one weird ass friend!
I refused drugs, too, and still do pretty much. I’m really happy to know there is someone else out there that doesn’t take the drugs!!! I can’t take pain-killers, I have refused antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs over and over again with these doctors. But, after 2 years of not sleeping, I caved a little. I take melatonin and have tried Unisom and Trazodone and Tizanidine, but only in minute quantities (1/8-1/4 pill) once in a while. When I took a 1/2 of the Unisom or Trazodone, I felt like hell the next day. I always prefer to know my hell is normal and not drug-induced. 🙂
Now, I head to bed at 9 or 9:30pm, do my routine with my cpap and teeth, face etc. for half an hour, read a book that I can put down for half an hour to an hour and then put on my sleep meditation app and lights out.
I refused them for the exact same reason, I want to know my body, know just what its thinking and then react to it and “mind it” during whatever hissy fit it throws at me. I like knowing the feel of my own body, here’s hoping I can keep the drugs on the doorstep. Night time routine is crucial for me too, sometimes i could be absolutely zonked all day and just as im heading to bed, the whizzing kicks in and my brain wants to play, so mean! Meditation has been my life saver, and my old body would have scoffed at the idea!